Generosity

A touch of December icy white.

Generosity can make you smile, give you a warm feeling. Sometimes it can actually give you the giggles.

Just received an email from our much loved and very cheap (😱😱😱) electricity supplier who never ever make massive profits by charging too much…. They are running a scheme where they ask customers to cut power usage during peak times so that we as a country avoid running out of this piped electrical gold. In return customers receive a discount on the next bill.

Well the email from them did give me the giggles. See GENEROSITY even from the unusual sources is a good thing and it even took a bit of strain off the creaking GENERATORS.

£1 currently gets you 1.13 Euros, or 1.20 US Dollars, or 1.64 Canadian Dollars or 100 Indian Rupees. Living the DREAM today🤣🤣🤣🤣

Swiss Sunday

May 2014. Yorkshire had gone the winter without any snow. Hawklad had almost forgotten what the white stuff was like. May was leaving it late, but finally a family holiday to Switzerland saved the day.

Hawklad got his winter playground.

Happy memories.

Switzerland is a special place, it generates happy memories.

Sydney calling

No sign of any teaching coming from School so might as well go for a walk around Castle Howard. A quiet, beautiful walk.

Quiet, well until an international meeting.

Walking along a path and we came across a clearly confused couple looking a tad bit lost. As we approached the chap spoke, spoke in the deepest of Australian accents.

Excuse me Mate, but we are trying to find the CASTLE”

Apparently they were on a driving holiday around the UK and had seen Castle Howard on the map and thought, let’s visit one of those King Arthur kinda places….. They had been walking around the Estate for ages and hadn’t found the old stone castle yet. Sadly I had to disappoint them.

‘See that big old house, that’s the castle”

After a few choice Australian words ##@##*#ocks, they asked if

I knew of a proper castle round here…”

A few minutes later they had directions to three more castle like castles.

That was my third ever conversation with someone from Australia. All have been completely random affairs. The second chat was in Switzerland. We were walking in Interlaken when a family approached us and asked.

Do you speak English, we heard you (me) singing Yellow Submarine”

Wow was I that loud…. Having confirmed the English thing, the conversation went very south of the equator.

Do you know if there is a shop here that sells Swiss Cuckoo Clocks, the kids want to see some and we can’t find a phrase for that in our German helpful holiday phrase book..

No I suspect it’s not a common phrase. Maybe it should be, maybe the first one the phrase book should tell you. Just like the phrase book Aliens like ET or Thanos need when they visit Earth. The first phrase being a translation of ‘take me to your leader’. Currently in the UK an alien would need to use the phrase ‘take me to your useless numpty’. Anyway the bizarre Australian conversation went even further south when we confirmed that we had just been in a shop looking at a shed load of those wonderful clocks. Once again Australians left with helpful directions.

My first Australian conversation was just as odd. I had just left Warwick University to finally earn my keep. I was working at a computer installation and I had drawn the short straw – I was covering the night shift. Well after midnight, Reception put through a call from Sydney. I took the call and happily said

‘Hello Sydney’

– whoever Sydney was. At the other end of the line was an equally happy lady with an Australian accent. Opps. I apologised.

‘Sorry, I thought the call was from someone called Sydney, not actually from Sydney…’

No problems, I am from Sydney, but I am also called Sidney”

I found out that she hadn’t been named after the city but after the actor Sidney Poitier. Apparently her parents were huge fans and had hoped for a strapping Aussie Rules playing boy who would also be an actor just like their hero. Apparently a short, ginger haired girl who was in love with George Michael didn’t quite suit the Sidney Poitier name.

I’m actually looking forward to my next Australian conversation. They are always so bizarre.

No monster this time.

Ok, it might not win any Michelin Stars but in the great culinary scheme of things, that ain’t too bad at all. The Yorkshire Baron Frankenstein can occasionally do some of that strange science called Baking….

If this muppet can do it…..

Go on, why don’t you have a go. This weekend, it’s the Great Bloggers Bake-Go on, why don’t you have a go.

You can find all the latest on the Bake-off and so much more on Mel’s wonderful site.

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/10/12/a-bouquet-of-flours/

Alien 6

It was a good idea.

Make an Ice Cream cake. Not only that but make the Ice Cream to make the cake.

Well…….

This was the end result.

It only has two molecular states. Runny or Rock Hard Granite. Not exactly perfect material to build that cake.

As for the Taste Test. The official Tester refused – “it’s like something from Alien 6”. To me the taste and texture was somewhere south of ‘deeply disturbing’.

Come on, you surely can do better than this culinary abomination. Why not have a crack at this years Great Bloggers Bake-off happening this weekend. All the latest can be found on Mel’s wonderful site.

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/10/10/take-a-snap-and-send-it-in/

You know it makes sense.

How much

I had high hopes. Such a simple baking task. Even I couldn’t mess up flapjacks. Well I kinda didn’t. Maybe…..

Enough flapjack to fill a big plate. Well it should have been.

If you like flapjack that instantly crumbles, falls apart, disintegrates, then this would be perfect for you. After several attempts of pressing and moulding, I managed to get just TWO pieces to stick together, just don’t get too close – their stability is severely compromised.

Whisper it. Just seconds later these perfect flapjacks had started to fall apart.

The rest well, I just let Hawklad spoon the crumbs into heaps of Maple Syrup, to form an Edible Mess. That’s our version of an Eton Mess.

Why don’t you have a crack at a bit of baking. Its the Great Bloggers Bake-off real soon. You know it makes sense.

To check on the latest, drop in on Mel’s awesome blog.

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/10/01/two-weeks-to-go/

It’s…..

“Well Dad its ….”

All I had to do was bake 12 fairy cakes. Even I can do that surely. All was going so well. The cake mix passed the Hawklad eating it from the bowl test.

I just had to put it into the oven for 12 minutes and remember to take it out. No need for a timer, I just have to focus for 12 minutes. I can do that. I can avoid being distracted.

TWENTY EIGHT minutes later….Pants…..out the abominations came from the oven. A tad CRISPY.

Attempt two, this time with TIMER.

And the results. The great taste test from Hawklad.

“Well it’s not terrible”

I will settle for that. Eat your heart out Gordon Ramsey, that’s a review.

Just a few weeks to raise my game for the 2022 Great Bloggers Bake-off. Mel has all the details and all the proper, delicious baking results.

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/09/24/so-many-questions/

If I can have a go, surely you can. You know it makes sense.

It’s back

It’s been too long.

Time to don your aprons, time to get passionately whisking, time to tend your cobblers. The Great Bloggers Bake-off is coming back on the 15th and 16th of October. You know it makes sense.

More details can be found at Mel’s blog.

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2022/09/20/more-details-to-follow/

So in the buildup to the big weekend I will be donning the full HazMat protective gear and baking an item a week. This weekend Frankenstein’s Monster will be a Sponge Cake, sounds simple. However let’s remember some of the high end cuisine this kitchen has yielded in the past.

What could possibly go wrong.

Swiss Sunday

Must be time for another Sunday walk down memory lane. A virtual trip to alpine heaven. SWITZERLAND. This one takes us back to 2012, where did those years go.

A family adventure started with a certain young child wanting to try this cool looking drink, available at the train station. I can’t think why he wasn’t allowed it….

The spectacular Aare Gorge is a just under 2km long with a narrow, raised walkway along one side of the vertical cliffs. It lies just a short distance from the infamous Reichenback Falls where Sherlock Holmes fell into the abyss with Moriaty. At times the Gorge narrows to just a few feet wide. All this accompanied by the sound of a deafening river, crashing through the the narrow rock gap below. Definitely not a place for claustrophobics, but definitely an absolute thrill ride. At night it must be a truly terrifying place. Tiny Hawklad absolutely loved it, he was convinced that monsters and sea creatures must live here, sadly he didn’t managed to capture any on his little toy camera. But it’s still a location he talks about today. Maybe soon he can go back again. Let’s hope so.

A rust bucket

A trip out and more on that another day.

But on that trip we came across what can only be described as a RUST BUCKET. Just parked on an average street, a normal busy street. As we walked to our destination this relic jumped out, sadly I think it’s jumping days have long since gone. It’s like it’s been left here for decades, forgotten, slowly being reclaimed by its surroundings.

I don’t feel too bad about my car now. No more can I call that a rust bucket. We have just found a world class heap of RUST.